Instead, it has been a week of
- Cleaning out desks
- Special times with special friends
- Starting to think about packing
- Reflecting on the future and the unknown
- Transitioning work
- Eating too much!
It is with a grateful heart that I am going to be able to retire at the end of the month. We spend so much of our work lives dreaming about this and I'm about to realize it -- along with my husband. While we still don't have a "house" to go to, I am confident that will work out in due time.
We will be leaving our tiny little cramped efficiency (that has my little sewing machine and six totes of fabric in various sizes -- always Be Prepared!) and moving back to Kentucky. No more Chicago winters! Woo-hoo! Alas, that puts us in the opposite direction of our son and his family and there is sadness in that part of this transition. But we are choosing this for a variety of reasons and I'm excited that when we do go see them, it will be for a few days at a time and we'll actually have more "face time" than ever before.
I am so grateful to be able to retire with reasonably good health and the blank canvas of days ahead to re-shape my life over time. There are so many options ahead:
- Learning to sleep through the night and past 5:30am
- Auditing college courses
- More time with family
- Reconnecting with friends
- Holidays that are not two day trips down and back
- Bible study
- Perhaps a part time job or a personal business
- And the dreaded -- Exercise. How can you retire in pretty good health and not do something about getting more fit. I will be out of excuses and I know it.
- And then...there are so many things we haven't even considered
So -- I'm grateful for my friends I made when we came to Chicago and acutely aware of how deeply my heart aches to leave them .... and for the company that has provided for my family for 30 years in exchange for hard work where I learned a ton .... and for the opportunities I've had to travel as well as enjoy all that the wonderful city of Chicago has to offer .... for the church we found which was a perfect fit at every level .... for the exposure to different quilters which has allowed me to grow in appreciation and skill .... and the list goes on.
I do have to say that besides stress eating -- I think I've been doing a fair amount of fabric therapy in the last month especially and was a little surprised at how much fabric I've bought once I started pulling it together. I do remember reading on a blog, however, that in preparation for retirement, quilters should buy as much fabric beforehand so they have a big stash as they start to live on a fixed income. I have five more days to heed that!
Keep piecing and in gratitude - Jan